“Glocal Education” Through Virtual Exchange?
Training Pre-Service EFL Teachers to Connect Their Local Classrooms to the World and Back
A key goal of global education in language teaching is to “have students ‘think globally and act locally’” (Cates, 2013, p. 278) – an idea in line with the concept of glocality. Virtual exchange – i.e. connecting learners with different lingua-cultural backgrounds over extended periods of time via digital communication technologies (The EVALUATE Group, 2019) – is a promising approach towards this aim. O’Dowd suggests designing such exchanges following a “transnational model” (2019) in which learners collaborate on shared tasks based on local and global real-world problems using a lingua franca. These ideas are compatible with European policy discourses on global education (Schreiber & Siege, 2016), aiming at supporting learners in becoming agents of change in an increasingly globalized world. Within the context of a trilateral project between universities in Germany, Turkey, and Sweden, this paper explores how global education can be integrated into foreign language teaching with the help of virtual exchanges through a synthesis of two models of virtual exchange (O’Dowd & Ware, 2009; O’Dowd, 2019) and the complex competence task approach (Hallet, 2012) to task-based language teaching. A transnational virtual exchange between these universities exemplifies how such a telecollaborative project can be implemented. During the exchange, pre-service EFL teachers compare and analyze cultural practices and educational frameworks to design tasks dealing with global issues that can be implemented in their respective local classrooms through virtual exchange.
Copyright (c) 2021 Fabian Krengel
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